Coatesville Playcentre is a licensed early childhood education provider run entirely by parents/nga matua, who have come together to provide pre-school experiences for their children. We cater for children from 0-6 years of age. Our Playcentre has been running for more than 30 years and we operate according to the Playcentre philosophy. We are part of the North Shore Playcentre Association.
Our Playcentre is less than 10 minutes from Albany and we have families/whanau from Coatesville, Riverhead, Dairy Flat, Albany and Paremoremo districts. We aim to hold 5 sessions per week, Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 12.00pm and will soon introduce an additional session for our bigger kids, aged 4 years and over. We have a good relationship with the teaching staff at the local school who advise on how we can best prepare our children for the transition to school.
We are located in a purpose-built open-plan centre between the Coatesville Hall and the school where many of our children have siblings. It is a rural setting and we have a large and pleasant outdoor area with bike track, sand pit, swings and two playground areas. In 2012, we installed a new playground and look forward to developing that further in 2013.
In 2010 we received a very good report from the Education Review Office. This report and the 2007 report can both be viewed online on the following website: www.ero.govt.nz and search Coatesville. The 2010 report noted that Coatesville Playcentre had a positive, warm tone and its presidents were inclusive, promoting good communication between parents and sessions.
The report also stated that Coatesville Playcentre had “Well developed and well implemented self-review processes [which] ensure that improvements made in the Playcentre are sustained.” Our practice of offering extended learning opportunities was praised. Centre members were said to be reflective and to “plan strategically to meet the strengths and interests of different groups of children.”
Trips are organised for the children each term. Recent trips have included tobogganing at Snow Planet, Sheepworld, a new soft play centre, ferry and tram rides and a local orchard.
We are run on a co-operative basis and share the responsibility for organising, supervising, running and maintaining the centre. Some parents/nga matua are elected annually to offices but we are ALL part of the decision making team. Office holders are provided with training, guidance and support by the North Shore Playcentre Association.
Playcentre also provides a chance to meet and form friendships with other families in the area. Our families/whanau get together regularly outside sessions, both with and without children. In 2012, we held a Playcentre Olympics and a family/whanau Christmas party. Parents/nga matua also met in the evenings for drinks and pizzas. This year, we are running a family/whanau camping trip.
All parents/nga matua at Playcentre are offered training to better understand child development and learning. The Playcentre parent education programme is nationally recognised and can be applied to other early childhood environments. Our parents/nga matua support each other in achieving their qualifications and we hold regular shared study sessions with home baking to keep us going.
We have recently hosted education sessions at our Playcentre plus a workshop on fire. We have also held a first aid training course run by an excellent external provider. The first aid certificate awarded to all attendees is recognised by many workplaces.